Berkeley group camps out to save historic post office


Protesters have been at the Berkeley Post Office on Allston Way since Saturday, and they have no plans to leave. They say they're there for the long haul.

About 15 people spent the night Saturday in one of the nine tents that are set up in front of the building.

The group, led by Save the Berkeley Post Office Committee, is against plans to sell the building.

Postal officials say it needs to sell because the Postal Service is in bad financial shape. But protesters say the building belongs to the people.

The Berkeley Post Office was built in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It's also one of hundreds of post offices across the country slated to close.

Protesters say their camp is off to a good start.

"Oh I slept like a log," protester David Welsh said. "It was great and you see we have food. We got up and somebody brought grits, so we had grits for breakfast and we're eating well and last night we had a movie, Il Postino, The Postman."

When asked how long they plan on doing this, protester Mindy Stone answered, "As long as we can until we can stop the sale of this post office. I mean, it's the will of the people, it's the will of the representatives and city council to save this post office. It's not necessary."

Berkeley city leaders are doing what they can to prevent the sale of the building so the fight to save the post office is being waged on many levels.

Police have not asked protesters to leave or remove the tents. Officers have encouraged people to stay out of the street, but that's been the extent of it.

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